France returns to F1
6th January 2012, 15:18 at 3:18 pm #130704
It was all great, reading that France would be back and at my favorite French circuit (Paul Ricard). But then they said that “circuit will thereafter alternate a single annual calendar slot with Belgium’s fabled Spa-Francorchamps.” WHY? Of all tracks, why Spa? And what else puzzles me is how are they expecting to have a good revenue, when they only have seating for 50,000 (actually, they don’t even have that yet, they’re “planning” on adding more to reach 50,000)?
It would be great to finally see Paul Ricard on the calendar, but this is definetly not the way to do it.
Also, its not officially confirmed yet, but I just felt like sharing this since it seemed pretty big.6th January 2012, 16:13 at 4:13 pm #188447
Why is bernie so keen to do one over on places like spa? Spa is a great track!
No sorry that just wont do. Can only hope for commen sence to prevail.
I would like to see a french GP but not at the loss of a classic track.6th January 2012, 16:14 at 4:14 pm #188448
I would so love to see a F1 GP back in France, it would be a must do for us Brits……BUT, not at the expense of Spa in any way, shape or form.
But a French Grand Prix again….. OH YES PLEASE..! I am so feeling that, us oldies, sorry, older F1 fans, would love that.
Imagine a Portugese GP again…….Estoril used to be the best party atmos EVER….Bring it on.6th January 2012, 16:20 at 4:20 pm #188449
The Paul Ricard circuit is still owned by Bernie Ecclestone, is it not?6th January 2012, 16:32 at 4:32 pm #188450
I think Spa cannot afford to run a race every year so this is the best alternative6th January 2012, 18:53 at 6:53 pm #188451
I have said this before, but not on the forum, I want Formula 1 to get rid of Valencia, and let different tracks bid for the European GP, so Estoril, Mangy-Cours, Zolder, Portimao, Zandvoort, Paul Ricard, Donington, Istanbul and any city can bid for a one off race. There’s no huge contract requirement, no chance of ‘here we go again’ races year in year out, and Formula 1 would once again grace some fantastic tracks7th January 2012, 2:32 at 2:32 am #188452
Of all tracks, why Spa?
Because Spa can’t afford it.
Why can’t people understand this? Yes, Spa is a phenomenal circuit – but that doesn’t guarantee its place on the calendar. Popularity never has. Monaco is the only circuit that is (largely) exempt from paying race sanctioning fees.
And before you lambast Bernie from extorting the circuits, consider the following:
1) Europe is in economic turmoil at the moment. The worst of the danger appears to have passed, but the continent is still teetering on a knife-edge. This is the main reason why Valencia wants to renegotiate with Bernie. Although Belgium’s economy is not as unstable as some others, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Greece are in such a precarious position that if more than one of them collapse, they could take most of Europe with them. That includes Belgium.
2) Bernie’s hand will always be forced by economics. There are 52 weekends in a year, which means there can be a maximum of 52 races per season. This number is not really viable, so allowing for breaks and travel and development schedules, the maximum number possible is 26, or one every other week. The current Concorde Agreement allows for 20, though there is the provision for more if the teams agree to it (look for this to be a big issued when the 2012 Concorde is negotiated). Bernie controls a limited supply of a commodity that is in high demand, which means the price will naturally go up. If someone can out-bid Spa, why not take them? As soon as Bernie goes with Spa over a circuit that can pay more, every circuit on the calendar will want to renegotiate their deals. The end result will be anarchy, especially if governments think that they can get their Grands Prix for a lesser price – and if Bernie doesn’t agree to it, those governments may pull their funding and the calendar will collapse. We could lose two-thirds of the existing races if that happened.7th January 2012, 2:44 at 2:44 am #188453
The simple thing is Spa don’t pay Bernie the money which places like UK or Valencia pay so he is alternating it with France, which I agree is a shame as this was quiet unnecessary. @john7th January 2012, 2:51 at 2:51 am #188454
Bernie isn’t the one alternating them. That was an idea that France and Belgium came up with on their own. Belgium’s current contract expires at the end of 2012, so they were in a position to negotiate alternating with France.7th January 2012, 9:30 at 9:30 am #188455
I see that there is a lot more to it than just one race track. If sharing gets me Spa every other year, its better than no Spa at all.7th January 2012, 11:50 at 11:50 am #188456
Bernie isn’t the one alternating them. That was an idea that France and Belgium came up with on their own. Belgium’s current contract expires at the end of 2012, so they were in a position to negotiate alternating with France.
Replace “Belgium” with “BBC” and “France” with “Sky”, and it seems eerily familiar.7th January 2012, 13:37 at 1:37 pm #188457
Paul Ricard is one of my least favourite tracks in the world, I would prefer another tilkedrome frankly.7th January 2012, 15:12 at 3:12 pm #188458
er… how many race tracks suitable for F1 are there in France?7th January 2012, 17:13 at 5:13 pm #188459
I wouldn’t mind a French GP, but definitely not at the expense of Spa (albeit every other year).7th January 2012, 22:35 at 10:35 pm #188460
er… how many race tracks suitable for F1 are there in France?
As far as I know, there are two: Magny-Cours and Paul Ricard. Paul Armagnac at Nogaro has a Grade-1T licence, which allows it to host testing; with a few minor changes, it could qualify for a Grade-1 licence. It is, however, shorter than Monaco, and very fiddly.
Otherwise, Dijon-Prenois, La Sarthe and Le Mans-Bugatti all have Grade-2 licences. They would require more work than Nogaro, but could be upgraded in time. Of those, Dijon is probably the only suitable candidate – La Sarthe is too long, and Formula 1 went to Le Mans-Bugatti in 1967 and the drivers hated it so much that they went to Rouen for 1968.
I wouldn’t mind a French GP, but definitely not at the expense of Spa (albeit every other year).
That’s not an option. The Belgians obviously aren’t confident that they can keep their race on a yearly basis.
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